In a 5-0 vote, the Town Council approved the appointment of Tom Coyle as the town's new town manager. He succeeds Bill Sequino, who moved to a new job in July after 25 years on the job.
Coyle, the town's police chief since 2010, has been serving as interim town manager since Sequino's departure.
Each town councilor took a moment to explain why they were voting in favor of Coyle.
"My only regret is that we're going to be losing a really, really good police chief," said Mike Kiernan. "This is a guy of extreme character, extreme integrity."
"His tenure as interim manager has been anything but the status quo," said Council President Michael Isaacs, noting his success in bargaining the firefighters and finalizing other collective bargaining agreements, as well as working through the personnel kinks of incorporating the fire district into the town, among other things.
Isaacs continued, "Chief Coyle has not been a town manager, but I'm very confident that he can easily learn the details of the job. What cannot be learned so easily are the qualities he already possesses ... management skills, the respect of town employees and town residents, the ability to work with people well."
"Tom ... has ideas about opportunities where we can save, where we can consolidate, ways we can use our tax dollars better. It is without reservation that I support this motion," said Jeff Cianciolo.
"We did have some excellent final candidates.... And I want to thank them for their participation in this process," said Mark Gee. "The reason we selected Tom, here is a man who is definitely qualified by dint of his honor, his integrity, his service, his respect, and his above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty attitude in everything I've seen him deal with. He also has the bearing of a gentleman, and that, to me, means a lot."
Coyle began at the East Greenwich Police Department as a patrolman in 1988 and rose through the ranks, serving along the way as head of the police union. He lives in Coventry.
He will receive a salary of $115,000. Sequino was making $134,000 at the time of his departure. He won't officially become town manager until Nov. 1, for "administrative reasons," said Isaacs. Two of his first duties will be naming new fire and police chiefs.